The Kurds Endgame?
Written by COMEHOLYSPIRITRENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH
A journey or a quest begins with one small step. You simply buy a ticket, find your seat on a bus or if you travel by plane, check in and walk through the terminal to the right gate with time to spare, smile at the flight attendant and find your seat. All so easy and straight forward. But let me take you on a different journey in search of knowledge and understanding about the Kurds and the Kurdish people of Kurdistan. Now we face a different quest and we are upping the stakes and going into the unknown. This can be a completely scary story that’s if you do it right. Why? Because it challenges all that you or I have come to know.
Let us assume right from the beginning just for the sake of a story that most of us live in relatively free societies and with basic human rights that we take for granted. Its like the air we breathe or to have the flick of a switch for a supply of electricity or readily available running water. Even more essential is the wonderful sense of belonging in a family and a roof over our heads as shelter from the extremes of weather. The reassurance of a passport that shows us we belong in a country even if that country we reside in is not our country of origin. Now let me assume further you either enjoy risk taking or not and even if you happen to avoid uncomfortable moments why not in the safety of your reading spot you come join this journey or quest. I guarantee your temporary discomfort on the journey will be replaced by discovering many unbelievable stories of how the Kurdish people have to had exist for centuries. It’s inherit-ant in their DNA as a culture.
First I have to clarify and confess as a writer and an observer that I rely on secondary sources such as YouTube so what I am discerning and writing I am filtering but it is of no less importance. I check things out as I go and fortunately I do have a reliable source on the ground and that is my friend Yavuzaslan in Turkey. He is a Kurd and a photographer as well as a designer. I met him online and he challenged me to write about the Kurdish people. I was already aware of the US pullout and betrayal of the Kurdish fighters in Syria. These fighters are the best and most trusted fighters and the proof is they cleaned out the ISIS Caliphate from Syria and when having completed the task they were dropped in the desert. The US pullout even left behind tents and refrigerators full of Pepsi and Coke completely evacuated. The Syrian Kurds meanwhile had captured were guarding 3500 – 5000 Isis soldiers and had them contained. Now with Turkey advancing to fill the vacuum the Syrian Kurds have to defend their secured areas against a large advancing Turkish army. There was now a grave danger there will be a genocidal war. The impending doom was swift 100 civilians were killed.
The Kurds have had a long history of fighting the Turks. It is a very complex situation and I may well skew a few facts but I will do my best to be accurate.
So as to get ready and prepare for this journey I have had to read and read and reread many sources and there is a huge amount of information out there. Yet still people may well ask just who are the Kurds? We all know about the Israelis and the Palestinians and their struggles but their situation is on a far smaller scale than the Kurdish challenge. I won’t call it a problem or an issue or any other dismissive label. It’s a massive challenge yet the character of these people are amazing. They by rights should have been wiped out long ago. They ere descended from the ancient Medes civilization. They existed through the Ottoman Empire and after that was carved up they waited for their own country and freedom to exist in and around the mountains. They are a stateless people with no country who have been pushed around a discriminated something wicked. They are loosely situated in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran and the following map will highlight their exact position. There are 13 million Kurds in Turkey, 6 Million in Syria 6 Million in Iraq and 2 Million in Iran and they are living around the world in big clusters like in Kentucky USA and in Australia. There is a small number in Armenia which borders with the Kurdish region. However the biggest disaster of a country is Iraq which has seen so much fighting and of course Saddam Hussein did his best to destroy the Kurds and completely wipe them out by chemical warfare and he destroyed 4000 villages. He killed 5000 or more people who suffered horrible deaths unimaginable deaths .
More about this as we journey because it is too horrible and we have to do this in steps and stages.To actually prepare me for the reality of what it is like to lose your freedom and to be encased in fear I saw the struggles of a Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed who barricaded herself in a hotel in Thailand. The UNHCR officials came to rescue her and put her on a flight to Canada. This all took place at the beginning of 2019. Her Joy and her sense of freedom has to be seen to be believed and to let it sink in. In Saudi Arabia where women are cosseted as second class citizens and where the strict codes of conduct for them is such that they apparently to dishonour their families the penalties are severe. Public honour killings such as being suspended over a swimming pool and drowned or killed his too hard to imagine. It flies in the face of our basic instinct to survive. I even get annoyed with the phrase that people trot out when they say ‘ take care’. It is so ingrained in us to seek to survive and to fight to the last and avoid any dangerous situation. We do it automatically when crossing the road or peering over the edge of tall buildings, even turning on the gas. It almost goes with out saying we do ‘take care’ so say no more. But when we live in very dangerous situations as a daily fact of life then we have to band together and seek support as if our very survival counted on it. We have to read and learn and discovery from other accounts of people’s lives and experiences and unless facts are produced to counter them we have to go with what we can glean. A good example of this was after the initial challenge from my friend Yavuzaslan I spent a few days reading about the Kurds so I was on a rose strewn path which led me to be impressed with these people. Then he asked me “have you read about their smuggling and crimes and mafia activities?” I had to say “no I hadn’t read about that” I only encountered some whiff and hints which I dismissed. These were not earth shattering discoveries. Now I began to search to get a bigger picture and sure enough it was all there. This left me with a question like,Did the Kurds have to find ways to survive ?
“In the ordinary course of love, we believe with our heart and confess with our lips. If we live with integrity, there is a unity of our thoughts, words, and deeds. We say what we mean, and we do as we say. We ‘walk the talk.’” Scott Hahn
So this is the journey and the ultimate quest for freedom. Freedom from all ‘isms’ Racism, sexism, ageism and all forms of discrimination. The recognition that we all contain forms of fear ,failings and short comingds such as fear mongering and rule bound methods that hurt and destroy relationships instead of binding us together as humans. To live is to change and to become perfect is to have changed often. So along the journey we can choose to let go of that which makes us less human and the best way I know of checking ourselves into rehab is to learn from the way people like the Kurds face who have faced adversities.
So along the way we will meet the Kurdish smugglers who risk both life and limb to survive. We will meet the Kurdish fighters, the Peshmerga, where men and women fight together in war. Where the women snipers are the most feared and why. We will come to understand the mess created by the French when they were given Syria and the British who were given Iraq. The Kurds were lumped together as a means of keeping the Sunnis and Shiite Muslims as a bulwark facing Turkey.
Now I know its better to search and find our own facts but I’m really on a journey to distill and learn facts and see if they resonate and get a reaction from others such as you the reader. Its far better if we make our own discoveries so perhaps in the quietness of your soul you can find something not to distract you but to give you traction for the way you search and learn and grow and journey